Several members of my department are being ‘downsized’ due to ‘restructuring’. I am the lowest level of management in my company and was told by uppermost management to choose 2 out of the 25 wonderful people on my team that they are the lucky winners that get to keep their jobs. The other 23, well, tough tamales for you I guess. Time for you to walk the plank.
I am surprised that I don’t feel worse for the plank walkers. I feel something, but it certainly isn’t stress, or pain, or even much concern. Am I a cold-blooded boss? Not at all. But I guess I am very practical and understand business is business. I also knew it was coming. Our new CEO is a shark. And yes, for the metaphor police, typically sharks don’t make you walk the plank, they just devour you, but see, she is not the one making these decisions either. She is the one we are feeding, to save ourselves. Remember the powerful woman in the custom tailored suit with the crushing hand-grip from my business trip last month?
Here’s why I don’t feel so bad. (Either these reasons are correct, or I can always fall back on the premise that I am actually a bitch, that seems to come up often enough. Although I’d never throw anyone under the bus, I won’t look back if they choose to stay in the road) (yes, another metaphor)
First, my team was made up of all women working part time (some only 10 hours weekly) to supplement whatever other income they had in their family. For most, the husband makes most of the money. For some of the retirees, they did depend on it more. But if anyone was actually surviving on this itty bitty income, then I need to talk to them and get some lessons on frugality.
Second, we are keeping the best of the best, the ones that exude positivity, and always jump in to help when needed. The ones that can produce. the ones that will work round the clock as needed and ask for more, thriving on the thrill of deadlines.
Third, I understand the corporate budget, and what they are doing is replacing 3-5 part time workers with 1 full time. Makes sense.
And finally, projecting our needs in the upcoming months, these plank walkers were not going to get many hours anyway, so better to let them go and find something else.
Oh, another finally, they were all given opportunities to apply to other positions in the company and chose not to apply. They were warned that the company is changing, they were introduced to the shark. They chose not to step up, so instead will be stepping off the plank.
As soon I heard the name of our shark, I googled and researched and climbed the crows nest (back on the ship? what happened to the bus?) to see which direction we were headed, and made sure they knew I wanted to go that way too. Hell, I even steered the ship a little. I like the direction we are headed, and think I have secured a spot in the crew for myself. But I will always have an eye on that shark, because as long as she is in charge, not a one of us is truly safe here. She has also released most of the C-blank-Os, as in we have a new CFO, CTO, CIO, all with credentials too long to list on a business card.
And I guess I feel a little bad that I think our kitchen had too many cooks for our overpriced stew. (seriously, another metaphor? Yes. I think figuratively when nervous and holding onto one train of thought is like holding onto a feather in hurricane. And I’ve had way too many meetings today. Way too many. Beer? Yes. Yes it is Beer ‘o’ Clock. I’ll drink to me keeping my job and not becoming shark bait)